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1867, Benedict Idstine - Unfit For Publication
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The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Sat 13 Jul 1867 1


    INDECENT ASSAULT.—At the West Maitland Police Court on Thursday, Benedict Idstin [sic] was charged with having committed an indecent assault on one Emma Doyle, in Durham-street, on last Tuesday afternoon, about the hour of four.—

    Constable [James] Levick being called, deposed: About half-past four o'clock on Tuesday afternoon, the prisoner was given into his custody by Emma Doyle, in High-street, on the above charge; prisoner was not sober when taken; she informed him in prisoner's hearing of the manner in which the assault had been committed; prisoner said he knew nothing of the affair; witness brought prisoner to the lock-up.—

    Emma Doyle deposed: She is a married woman, residing in Durham-street; is not acquainted with prisoner; on Tuesday afternoon, between three and four o'clock, she was standing at her door-step, with her daughter, when prisoner came up on horseback, and tried to catch the part of a letter which had been blown out of her daughter's hand, who was reading it at the time; prisoner got off his horse, and came towards the house as if intending to come in; he was coming up the steps, on the top of which witness was standing, and while doing so, lifted, with both hands, witness's clothes, and placed one of them on her; she called out for a policeman, and a neighbour named John Parrot [sic] went away for one; Parrott saw the offence committed; prisoner then mounted his horse, made use of a bad expression, and rode away; her daughter also saw the offence committed; she gave the prisoner into custody shortly afterwards in High-street.—

    Sophia Jones, daughter of last witness, corroborated in every particular her evidence but that in which the offence was described as being committed,—she alleging that her mother's clothes were lifted with one hand, the right, while the other rested on his knee.—

    John Parrott deposed: I am a labourer; lives next door to Emma Doyle, and saw the offence committed; saw prisoner riding up before he got off his horse; noticed him because he was the worse for liquor; saw him attempt to catch the letter; heard Mrs Doyle said "She thought she knew that young man's face;" and also prisoner ask Mrs Doyle if she was going to Muswellbrook or Singleton; prisoner got off his horse, and in ascending the steps, on the top of one of which Mrs Doyle was, saw him with both hands lift up her clothes; the other part of the assault he did not see, but believed it could not be done without him observing it; she then flew at him as if to strike him; Mrs Doyle did noot call for a constable, but asked him to go and fetch one; there was nothing in complainant's or her daughter's language or manner to induce prisoner to be rude; prisoner was so drunk that witness noticed him before he came up as likely to fall off his horse.—

    Mr Thompson, who appeared for prisoner, stated that Mrs Doyle did not wish to press the charge only as a common assault, and he asked the bench to deal with it as such.—
The bench stated that as it was an indictable misdemeanour, they could not deal summarily with it, and would have o commit the prisoner. The prisoner, who betrayed considerable emotion at intervals during the case, was asked if he had anything to say, at the same time being duly cautioned. Prisoner stated that he was drunk at the time, and did not know what he was doing. He was very sorry for what he had done.—

    Senior-sergeant [Thomas] Kerrigan mentioned to the bench that he had known the prisoner for the last nine or ten years, and that he had always borne an excellent character, being a hard-working, industrious young man.—

Prisoner was committed to take his trial at the next Quarter Sessions; bail allowed, himself in £40 and one sufficient surety in £40.

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The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Sat 7 Sep 1867 2


    The September sittings of the Maitland Court of Quarter Sessions commenced yesterday, before A. McFarlane, Esq., District Court Judge. The following cases were tried:—
    Indecent assault: Benedict Idstin [aka Idstine], guilty, remanded for sentence.

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Mon 9 Sep 1867 3

(From our Correspondents.)


It has been snowing here since 8 o'clock, the heaviest and longest continued fall ever known.



    At he Quarter Sessions Mark Solomon, for assault, was sentenced to three months' imprisonment; Benedict Idsten, [aka Idstine], found guilty yesterday of indecent assault, was sentenced to three months' imprisonment.
Weather cold and cloudy.


Saturday, 6 pm.

    The salaries of the Civil servants were paid to-day, and the Banks remained open till 4 pm.
    A large and remarkable meteor crossed the city last night.
    Joseph Wheeler, the suspected [perpetrator of the Rokewood outrage, was arrested at Williamstown, and has been remanded to Geelong, where he has been identified by Bramley as the man who committed the crime.
    The brig Jane parted her cables and went ashore at Warrnambool. One man was drowned. She will become a total wreck.

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The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Tue 10 Sep 1867 4


    The September sittings of the Maitland Court of quarter Sessions opened on Friday, before A. McFarlane, Esq., District Court Judge. The barristers present were Messrs. Foster (who prosecuted for the Crown), Wisdom, and Rogers.



    Benedict Idstin, a German was indicted for that he did on the 9th day of July, indecently assaulted Emma Doyle, in Durham-street, West Maitland.

    The prisoner pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr Rogers, instructed by Mr Thompson.

    The following witnesses were called for the Crown: Constable Levick, Emma Doyle, John Parrot, and Sophia Jones. There were no witnesses for the defence.

    It appeared from the evidence that Emma Doyle, and her daughter, Sophia Jones, were standing at her door in Durham-street on the 9th of July, reading a letter, when the prisoner rode up on horseback; the letter blowing out of her daughter's hand at the moment, the prisoner, who was drunk, tried to make his horse put his foot on the letter. Sophia Jones told him that he was a stranger, and that the house was not a brothel now. The prisoner then got off his horse, made a rush at Emma Doyle and lifted her clothes, with other indecent conduct; he then got on his horse and rode away. She followed him, and gave him in charge.—

    [John] Parrot's evidence showed that the prisoner was drunk on the day of the indecent assault, and that the prisoner lifted her clothes, but he did not see the other indecent conduct spoken of; witness must have seen him if he did so.—

    Sophia Jones also corroborated the evidence of her mother.

    This being the case for the Crown, Mr Rogers addressed the jury at considerable length on behalf of the prisoner. The prisoner also handed in a written statement stating that he was drunk on the occasion, and did not know what he was doing, and offering to apologise for his conduct.

    His Honor having summed up, the jury retired for about two hours, and returned a verdict of guilty, with a recommendation to mercy on account of his previous good character.

    Constable Brennan was called, who stated that he had known the prisoner for the last two years, and during that time he was a sober, well conducted young man.

    The prisoner was then remanded for sentence.



    Benedict Idstin, convicted on the previous day of an indecent assault on Emma Doyle, was brought up for sentence.

    William H Smith and John Patrick were called on prisoner's behalf.

    W[illiam] H Smith had known the prisoner for the last fifteen years, and during that time his conduct had been first-class.

    John Patrick had also known the prisoner since he was a boy, and he had always been an industrious hard-working young man.

    His Honor, addressing the prisoner said: You have been convicted of an indecent assault. The jury recommend you to mercy, and have an opinion that you were under the impression that the house was one of ill-fame. I have also taken that circumstance into consideration, and after the excellent character given of you by two respectable witnesses, I feel that I will be discharging my duty by sentencing you to three months with hard labour in Maitland gaol.


1  The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Sat 13 Jul 1867, p. 4. Emphasis added.

2  The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Sat 7 Sep 1867, p. 4.

3  The Sydney Morning Herald, Mon 9 Sep 1867, p. 4. Emphasis added.

4  The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, Tue 10 Sep 1867, p. 2. Emphasis added.